Transitions-Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Real Estate Blog: Buying a Condominium in Oakville, Mississauga or Burlington - Important Things You Need to Know About Condominium Ownership -Common Expenses and The Status Certificate

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Buying a Condominium in Oakville, Mississauga or Burlington - Important Things You Need to Know About Condominium Ownership -Common Expenses and The Status Certificate

 

Buying a Condominium in Oakville, Mississauga or Burlington - Important Things You Need to Know About Condominium Ownership -Common Expenses and The Status Certificate.


Part One of the 'Buying a Condominium in Oakville, Mississauga or Burlington' series discussed the initial things a buyer should be aware of as they begin to think about looking at condominiums.
A link to Part One can be found at the bottom of this page.

In this article, Part Two of a three part series on things a buyer should be aware of as they begin to consider the purchase of a condominium, we will be looking at 'common expenses' and also talking about the 'status certificate', two very important aspects of condominium ownership.

  • Condominium ownership involves the payment of monthly condo fees to the condominium corporation. These fees vary widely from development to development, not only in amount, but also in terms of what they cover.
    Monthly fees, also known as common expenses, are used by the condominium corporation to cover such things as maintenance of the common elements, funding the reserve account (see explanation of reserve account below) and paying for the management of the day to day operations of the building/development and the operating expenses of the condominium corporation.

    Monthly condo fees may also include, depending on the condominium, such things as snow removal, grass cutting, building insurance (for the exterior of the building), exterior building and grounds maintenance, water usage, utilities and television cable.

    Be sure to find out the exact amount of the monthly fees and what they include prior to the submission of an offer to purchase.
    Buying a condo in Oakville, Mississauga or Burlington
    If you are working with a REALTOR® , they will attain all of this information for you on each condominium that you are considering.

    You should also be aware that if you will be requiring financing for your condo purchase from a bank or mortgage company, the amount of the monthly condo fees will have an impact on how much the lender will be willing to loan you for a mortgage.

    If you are considering the purchase of a condo that has not yet been built or is in the process of being built, be aware that the condo fees you will be quoted may rise by up to 50% or more after your first year of ownership. Factor this into your monthly costs when you are determining how much you can afford prior to submitting an offer to purchase.


  • One of the most important documents applicable to condominium ownership is the 'Status Certificate'. It is vital that you do not purchase a condominium prior to having your lawyer review the status certificate and go over with you in detail it's contents.
    The status certificate will cover the following very significant aspects of the condominium corporation and unit you are considering:


    1. The amount held in the 'reserve fund'.
    All condominiums are required by law to maintain a separate fund that is allocated for the payment of major repairs and replacements of the common elements of the condo corporation. These may include repair or replacement of windows, roofing, pools, parking, elevators etc.


    2. Whether or not the unit you are interested is overdue on any common expense payments.


    3. Reveals any liens against the unit you are considering.Buying a condo in Oakville, Mississauga or Burlington


    4. Provides you with detailed accounting of the most recent audited financial statements and budget of the condominium corporation.


    5. Indicates whether there are any special assessments or legal actions involved with the condominium corporation or with the unit.

    6. Includes a list of the Board Members of the condominium corporation.


    7. Whether or not there are any increases in the monthly fees being contemplated.


    8. A copy of the condo corporation's 'Declaration'. The declaration is the legal document that creates the condo corporation. In it you will find a description of the boundaries of your unit and the percentage used for calculating the specific montly expenses/fees for your unit. It will also contain any obligations that affect the use of your unit.


    9. The Bylaws of the condominium corporation. The bylaws will outline the organizational and administrative functions and duties of the Board of Directors and the Condominium Corporation. They will also provide a structure for the calling of owner's meetings and for the election of members to the Board of Directors.


    10. All condominiums have a set of 'Rules and Regulations'. These will also be included in the status certificate.
    Condo rules and regulations set out the standards of behaviour for the condo community.
    They will cover such things as the day to day use of the common elements and also of the individual units.
    Some condominiums do not allow pets or limit the type and size of pets. If this is the case, it will state so in the rules and regulations.
    There are various other stipulations that will be found in the rules and regulations and it is very important for you to review them prior to making a firm offer to purchase.


          Your REALTOR® will set out a certain amount of time (usually 10 days), in the offer to purchase, for              you and your lawyer to review the status certificate. This is set out in the form of a condition,   
          thereby allowing you to rescind your offer should you or your lawyer find something of concern when            reviewing the status certificate.

For Further Reading:

Buying a Condominium in Oakville, Mississauga or Burlington - Important Things You Need to Know - Part One.

Buying a Waterfront Condominium in Oakville.

If you are considering buying a condominium in Oakville, Mississauga or Burlington and would like a complete list of  condominiums currently available for sale that meet your needs/desires, contact Jo-Anne Smith at OakvilleAndBeyond@gmail.com or 289-837-2132.

 

©2009JoSmith

 


There You ARE!  I've Been Waiting For You!!!
Let's Get to Know One-Another:

Comment balloon 18 commentsJo-Anne Smith • October 15 2009 07:16PM

Comments

Super information for anyone thinking about buying a condo. Frankly, I love condo living, but one does have to know about fees and what the fees include/exclude... and so many other bits of info.

Posted by Kat DeLong, Realtor DRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate ( (Wheeler Steffen Sotheby's Int. Realty) over 8 years ago

Good advice Jo-Anne, with the number of Condo's in the GTA and many more to be added, these are wise words for Buyers.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Congrats on the featured post on Condo Benefits.

Posted by Will Nesbitt, Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage. (Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria) over 8 years ago

Jo, I wonder if it's the same here...I have looked at Condos and no one ever mentioned a 'Status Certificate' although I can see all the good information that would contain that a condo buyer would need to know.  I'll definitely remember this and thank you for the information, this is a wonderful series.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 8 years ago

Jo-Anne,

 

Very well-written, and I see that you are about 2 post from the 200,000 point milestone.

 

Brian

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 8 years ago

hi Kat,

How true! When the monthly condo fees are factored into the equation, it  is sometimes better to opt for a slightly higher priced detached home...unless of course you are buying a condo for the lifestyle. First time buyers are often not aware of the condo fees that are involved and many of the other aspects of condo ownership.

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

Thank you Peggy and Al.
Condominium living is certainly very common here in the GTA.

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

Hi Will,

Thanks! I'm very honoured.

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

Hi Carole,

I imagine your condominiums have a very similar system there. It might not be called the 'status certificate', however there would have to be something along the same lines which includes all of the same information. Your REALTOR would be able to guide you through a condo purchase and answer all of your questions for you.....

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

Hi Brian,

Thank you!

I might cross the 200,000 pt threshold today...thanks for pointing that out to me. ((-;

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

Hi Jo....a great series...but then again you wrote it! So good to see you!

Are our story telling days over?

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Jo-Anne.

 

Congratulations on the 200,000 points.

I find your blogs to be very well-written, and quite helpful.

Keep up the good work.

Brian

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 8 years ago

hi Joni,

So good to see you too!

No, our story telling days are not over...not by a long shot.  ((-;  I just might resurrect Emmeline's House for Halloween.

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

Why, thank you Brian! You're very kind.....and just so you know, I feel the same way about your blogs.

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

hi Jo, very thourough info on condo buying! especially like the 10 day period for due dilegence as in these economic times buyers need to know  a solvent association is important part of their investment.

sincerely

grace

Posted by Jeff&Grace Safrin, SpousesSellingHousesTM (F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Hi Grace and Jeff,

Nice to see you!  The 10 day conditional period is soo important....

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

Jo - once again a very informative post ... an excellent post for potential Condo buyers

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Thank you Kathy!

Jo

ps. I hope your grandson is making out ok at school with the change in policy.

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

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